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In years past, we all took electricity as a ubiquitous commodity to be used without reservations. Maybe, the providers themselves didn’t help matters by not educate people on the importance of energy saving. Or the environmentalist failed to discover the dangers of excessive use of energy to the environment. It’s also likely that the citizens didn’t recognize that their energy bills every month could be diverted into income-generating investments by using lesser energy.
Whatever the reason, everyone expended energy carelessly, and wastefully until in the 1970s when many countries faced an unexpected oil embargo from major oil-producing nations.
To say that the incident was an eye-opener is an understatement. Many country leaders then were forced to consider the implication of insufficient petroleum products for basic energy requirements of the citizens. From that time until now, the discussion on energy efficiency became a hot topic both nationally and internationally.
You may have heard about energy saving, read about it online and wondered why the topic is hot. It is also possible that you want to practice energy efficiency but doesn’t know if it’s worth it or how to start. In this article, we’ve done our best to help you become an authority on energy efficiency. After reading, you’ll help to educate others on how to save money and protect the environment by practising simple energy-saving tips.
What is energy efficiency
A simple explanation of energy efficiency is the practice of reducing the amount of energy expended in using appliances but still achieve the expected result. For instance, households use refrigerators to preserve edibles, bulbs for brightness, water heater for hot water, an electric cooker for cooking, Air conditioners for cooling, etc. All these and more are the basic energy needs of a typical household. These activities give rise to the high amount of utility bills that eat down our finances every month.
But if you decide to run an energy-efficient household, you’ll use all the necessary appliances and achieve the same result but with a lesser amount of energy. Isn’t that incredible? However, it might necessitate changing some appliances and habits adjustment. For example, you may be advised to change your bulbs from the incandescent type to an efficient bulb. Or, you might need to regulate how you use your lights when you’re at home and when you’re away. Either way, you’ll enjoy the same brightness or even better but consume lesser energy, thereby reducing the amount you pay on electricity bills.
Now you understand the “what” of energy efficiency, let’s see the “why.”
Benefits of energy saving
Energy saving is very beneficial both to us as humans, our environment and our societies. Although it will not be easy to uphold some of the tips, we have shared in this article, but you have to encourage yourself because the benefits are numerous. For instance:
- Energy-saving reduces utility bills.
This is one of the ways which individuals benefit from consuming lesser amounts of energy at home. For instance, if you expend less electricity in carrying out your activities at home, the high charges you face every month will be greatly reduced. Maybe you didn’t know, but energy companies calculate your usage in watts, and each appliance in your home expends a specific wattage of electricity. After calculating these watts, the company will bill you accordingly. So, if you would love to cut down your expenses on energy bills, reduce the rate of consumption.
- Saving energy protects the environment
Efficient use of energy helps to protect our environment from the negative effects of power plants activities. When there is a decrease in the level of energy consumption, the power plants will automatically reduce their frantic search for fossil fuel. Also, they’ll learn to burn little amounts and as such, preserve the available amounts they have. This way, there won’t be pollution in the environment, and the earth won’t be shaken constantly through mining, logging & extraction of natural resources.
Let’s not forget the greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from power plant activities. So, you can help protect your environment by burning less energy.
- Energy-saving practices impact the global economy
The petroleum products we use come from natural resources. Unfortunately, the supply of these resources has been greatly reduced by excessive consumption. This situation means that since the producers are spending more on raw materials like natural gasses, oil, coal etc. countries would also spend more on the bi-products. The strain on the country’s finances due to energy consumption impacts the global economy as well. So, if we adopt energy efficiency practices, we’re indirectly contributing to natural resources preservation.
There you have it on the benefits of reducing energy consumption. It helps us generally on individual level, environmental and global levels too. So, let’s the “how” of energy efficiency.
Quick energy saving tips.’
One of the easiest ways of using little energy is to purchase only energy-efficient home appliances. This strategy will work for someone who’s yet to buy home appliances or planning a shopping spree to change the old ones. But, if you are not amongst these groups or doesn’t want to spend extra dollars on buying specific appliances, don’t worry at all. The energy-saving tips here will work wonders on your bills next month.
Tips for your Lightings & Electronics
Almost every home use lightings and electronics, resulting in paying high utility bills. Follow these tips and cut down consumption.
- Change your bulbs; instead of continuing with the usual incandescent light bulbs, replace them with LED bulbs. These lightings are durable and save energy too. Using them will cut down utility bills and cost of replacement.
- Unplug electronics after usage; the only way to prevent energy consumption on your electronics is to shut them off after use. Leaving them on standby modes will not work because they still drain energy on standby.
- Charge your gadgets right; most of us leave our mobile phones and laptops plugged in from morning to night. This is not right. Every gadget has the number of hours it requires. Stick to that and save energy.
Tips for energy saving in your kitchen
We use many appliances and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, thereby unknowingly increasing our utility bills. Start energy saving in the kitchen today with these tips.
- Cook in batches; instead of cooking every day, reduce the number of times you use your oven by practising batch cooking. Before switching it on, ensure that you’ve outlined the foods to prepare.
- Stock your fridge & freezer; a full freezer or fridge expends less energy than an empty one. If you stock up your necessities, they’ll be preserved for some days, and you can cease from using plugging the freezer to light each day too.
- Clean the condenser coils of your refrigerator; many people don’t know that the motor consumes more energy when the coils accumulate pet hairs and dust. So, clean them from time to time to be more energy efficient.
- Use your cooker wisely; our cookers come with different sizes of cooking rings to match our pans and pots. An energy-saving strategy would be to use your small pan on the small ring while cooking little foods. Instead of cooking on the large rings with small pans, follow instructions and save energy.
- Use your oven right; if you’re baking, always avoid the urge to peek into your oven. Every time the doors open, the oven temperature drops, and once you close it, the oven works harder to raise the temperature to the normal level.
- Put your oven to good use after cooking; did you know that your oven can also serve as your heater? Instead of plugging in your heater due to cold, let the heat from your oven heat up your room instead. Keep the extractor fan for now and utilize the heat from your oven.
- Don’t pre-rinse utensils; many people would always use hot water to rinse their utensils before loading in the dishwasher. Try to refrain from that style today and save energy.
- Don’t put hot food in the refrigerator; many of us pack hot foods into the freezer. Sometimes the rush to the office makes you forget the repercussion. Avoid doing it from today and watch the impact on your bills.
- Cover or wrap the drinks and foods in your refrigerator; the reason to cover foods is to preserve moisture and protect the compressor from overworking. With plastic wraps or reusable containers, you can seal in moisture and save more energy.
- Use hot water when necessary; sometimes, we may prefer to wash food items or utensils with hot water before cooking. If you must achieve your energy-saving goals, reduce the times you use to only on requirements.
- Buy cooking utensils with Energy star label; any of those products can cut down your utility bills and save you from stress.
Energy Saving Tips for Air conditioners and fans
There are many ways to minimize energy consumption via your fans or air conditioners. Consider these few:
- Replace or clean the air filters; do this regularly to increase the efficiency of the air conditioner.
- Always turn off your fans; it makes no sense to leave them on when nobody is in the room. Once you’re through, switch it off and save the energy it wastes when you’re not around.
- Buy an energy-efficient air conditioner; you can pick the right one by checking the energy efficiency ratio. If you get a brand with 10 EER, buy it. Also, a brand with six or seven EER is manageable too.
- Install a timer switch; this equipment will help to control your fan by switching it off automatically when it runs to the pre-set time.
Energy Saving Tips For Windows and Doors
This may surprise you, but you can save energy by using your doors and windows right. Check the following tips:
- Install shades or curtains; purchase the insulated and thermal-backed drapes for the windows. Also, adding tinting films or solar shades will help you a lot. With them in place, you can close the windows when the sun is at its worst to keep your rooms cooler.
- Seal leaks; buy caulk and seal every gap on your doors and windows. This way, you can prevent air leakage.
- Change the windows; if you’re up for it, it’s best to change from the old single-paned windows to double-paned windows. While the former may be increasing your utility bills, the latter will cut it down because they’re energy-efficient.
- Clean the door tracks regularly; check your sliding doors to make sure that no dirt prevent them from closing firmly. With that, you can prevent air leakage and use your air conditioner and heater efficiently.
Laundry tips for energy saving
The way you wash your clothes with the washing machine consumes more energy than you know. Consider these tips instead:
- Use cold water instead; we use to believe that washing clothes with hot water make them cleaner. Well, that’s not right because your detergent is responsible for that. So, try using cold water today and cut down your energy consumption.
- Go all out under the air; instead of using the dryer when you’re targeting a bill cut, dry your clothes with air and save good bucks.
- Reduce ironing time; don’t run the dryer until your clothes are completely dry. You can bring them out while there’s still moisture and iron. The clothes will straighten faster, and you can save more energy.
- Reduce your water heater; bathing with very hot water is great, especially during the cold weather. But remember that it is responsible for your high utility bills. Try keeping it moderate.
Other Energy saving tips for your home
- Consider solar energy; instead of paying exorbitant electricity bills, you can install some solar panels on your roof and spend less.
- Buy a thermostat; a programmable thermostat can help you to reduce your utility bills. It will adjust the temperature automatically according to how you scheduled it. At least, your heating and cooling system will remain at your desired temperature only.
- Compare the prices of electricity and gas; you may decide to go with the cheapest instead and save some costs.
- Try purchasing renewable energy; apart from solar energy, there are others such as wind energy, biomass, hydropower, or geothermal. Many utility companies have these options. You can utilize them to reduce your electricity bills.
An insight into electricity consumption of home appliances
To encourage you further on energy saving, we’ll love you to see the rate at which some of your home appliances consume electricity.
|Home Appliance||Power consumption in Watts||Cost every 1hr in Cent||Remarks|
|Fridge||60||0.3||Depending on the temperature|
|Washing machine||Average of 1000||10|
|Cooker||2000 – 6000||20-60||Dependent on oven & hot plates in use|
|Large TV CRT||100-150||1|
|Large Plasma TV||200-300||2-3|
|Desktop Computer||100||1||LCD monitor cost less|
|TV LCD (large)||100-200||1-2|
|LED TV (large)||80||0.8|
|Air Conditioning||5000||50||Depends on the setting|
|Bulb (100 watt)||100||1|
|Water tank heater||2000-3000||20-30|
From the table above, you can notice that your tumble clothes driers, air conditioners, room heaters, water heaters and electric showers are increasing your bills every month. Kettles are in this category, but we use them in short periods. So, their consumption isn’t very high.
Energy saving is very beneficial no matter what anyone says or thinks. It helps to reduce our monthly bills, keeps the environment safe and helps to improve the global economy. Many people haven’t even considered that they can save more by being energy efficient. We hope that this article has opened your eyes to the excessive wastage of energy that’s going on in our homes.
We’ve also shared some of the quick energy-saving tips that’ll cost nothing to enforce except maybe you decide to change some appliances to the energy-efficient types. Or if you consider installing some solar panels for renewable energy. Whatever you decide, the bottom line is that regulating the amount of energy you expend in your home is one of the best decisions you can make.
The table above has spelt out the rate and estimated cost of our energy consumption. Consider the tips we’ve shared and start executing them today.